Forgotten Britains Got Talent winners – Kerry Katona link and death tragedy
Britain’s Got Talent has arguably uncovered some of the most talented performers up and down the country.
From opera singers and mind-blowing musicians, to dance troupes and dog tricks, the popular ITV talent competition has showcased some of the most impressive acts seen on television over the last 15 years.
Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, David Walliams and others throughout the years have helped some of the most talented acts on the show blossom into the established performers we know them to be today.
As the show dramatically grew in popularity over the years, so too did the all-important prize money with the first five winners taking home £100,000.
In 2012, the jackpot grew to an eye-watering £500,000 which has since been reduced to a still impressive £250,000.
Fans were devastated when the show was pulled from the air due to the global coronavirus pandemic which forced the production to shut down after the auditions with the live semi-finals delayed and eventually pre-recorded.
The highly-anticipated 15th series of the popular ITV show is set to return to the silver screen later this month after a two-year break as the production team wraps up filming the final few auditions before the live shows.
Now, the Daily Star has taken a deep dive into the lives of some of the stars who you may have forgot won the popular ITV competition.
Paul Potts is possibly one of the most inspirational contestants to take part on the show when it first launched in 2007.
The Welsh singer went from being a manager at a Carphone Warehouse in the heart of Wales to touring the world as a talented opera singer following his mind-blowing audition with his rendition of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma.
He stunned then judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan with his performance which has since landed a place in the top 100 most-watched YouTube videos of all time as it raked in more than 171million views.
The star quickly went on to soar through the competition and even had the honour or performing for the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance after he won the competition.
His first album titled One Chance went straight to number one in the UK albums chart and became a massive success in Germany where went on to win the 2009 Echo Award for Best International Male Artist.
The star has since gone on to perform all around the world and performed over 1,000 shows since he appeared on the talent show.
More than a decade on, millions of people have been inspired by his career change as Taylor Swift went on to write a song about him called Sweeter Than Fiction and James Corden played him in a Hollywood biopic One Chance.
In early 2019, the star entered into America’s Got Talent: The Champions, which saw previous performers from different countries compete against each other where me made it down to the final 12 acts.
Street dancer George Sampson rose to fame when he won the second series of Britain’s Got Talent where he wowed viewers with his impressive performance to Mint Royale’s remix of Gene Kelly classic Singin’ In The Rain.
He tried to impress the judges in the first series with his impressive dance routine but failed to blow the socks off of the judges, which pushed him to improve his act and apply for the show the following year.
At the age of 14, the teenager became a huge hit with viewers at home as the classic song short straight to number one in the British charts making the teenager the first non-singing act to get signed to Simon Cowell's label Syco.
After his TV victory, the dancer decided to expand his performance career and managed to squeeze into the acting scene after he landed his first role dancing in the West End hip-hop musical Into The Hoods,.
He went on to appear in British film StreetDance 3D alongside fellow Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity before he moved from the stage to the silver screen.
George soon landed a role in the school drama Waterloo Road from 2011 to 2013 in addition to recurring appearances in Emmerdale as the troublesome hunk Ryan Harred in 2016.
In 2017, George starred in musical Our House and soon went on to appear in Celebrity Coach Trip two years later with his former Waterloo Road co-star Roxanne Pallett.
In 2011, Scottish heartthrob Jai McDowall charmed the nation with his beautiful singing voice from the second he stepped onto the stage in Liverpool.
And it’s fair to say the former support worker wowed the judges with his beautiful rendition of Anthem by Chess which was only the start of his success on the popular ITV show.
During the nail-biting finals, he managed to secure the cash prize of £100,000 after he pipped fellow finalist Ronan Parke to the post with his impressive cover of To Where You Are by Josh Groban.
But despite winning the support of his loyal legion of fans at home, the star was soon dropped by music mogul Simon Cowell’s record company Syco just one year into his music career.
At the time, the 62-year-old confessed he was “disappointed” with Jai’s TV triumph, saying: “He wasn’t one of our best ones.”
Jai has gone on to enjoy a health career in theatre starting with his role as Robbin Hood where he starred alongside Kerry Katona as Maid Marion in the adult panto Throbbin Hood.
As the world returns to normal after the global pandemic, Jai has his fingers crossed that he can hit the road again with Jonathan Ansell from the X Factor group G4 later this year.
Avid viewers fell in love with the epic gymnastic group Spelbound after the showcased their jaw-dropping acrobatic performance during the fourth series of the ITV show.
And the group went on to produce bigger and better routines throughout the series as they stormed their way to the final where they took home £100,000 prize money and dazzled audience members at the 2010 Royal Variety Performance.
The group went on to join the popular Britain’s Got Talent Live Tour as they performed their intricate routine to thousands of fans up and down the country.
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And the gymnastics group quickly went from strength to strength as they proudly performed their intricate routine for the Olympic audience at Wembley Arena at London 2012 Olympics.
But in recent years, the group has gone quiet after they released a DVD showcasing nine of their most complex routines to date.
Former group members Elsie Matthews, Georgoa Lancaster and Millie Spalding have gone on to win three consecutive world championships as a trio in acrobatic gymnastics.
The trio have since retired from gymnastics after they won gold at the world championships back in 2016.
Lee Ridley – otherwise known as Lost Voice Guy – first shot to fame in 2018 after he shared his hilarious comedy set during his audition for the 12th series of Britain’s Got Talent.
As he delivered his witty sketch, it was clear to see there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the stadium erupted into laughter at his side-splitting 10-minute set.
And his hilarious comedy streak kept on soaring as he flew through to the grand final where he went on to steal the crown.
Since the show, the County Durham native – who suffers with cerebral palsy and is unable to speak – has gone on to receive a new voice for his communication device.
In April last year, the established author chose a voice-over artist named Dan Pye who grew up in Whickham and currently lives in Hunwick, county Durham to be his new voice donor.
The decision was made after Lee received more than 500 offers from potential donors who each sent the star recording of themselves reading an extract from his book I’m Only In It For The Parking.
Ashleigh and Pudsey
In 2012, viewers fell in love with dog and owner duo Ashleigh and Pudsey after they wowed fans with their mind-blowing routine as they smashed their way through the competition.
The duo performed at the Royal Variety Performance and at the Queen’s Diamon Jubilee after their Britain’s Got Talent victory.
The double act were the winners of the biggest cash prize on the series as they took home a tidy £500,000 which helped them to explore a range of new opportunities including pantomime roles and a slew of dog-related TV appearances together.
They hosted Top Dog Model, That Dog Can Dance and Who Let the Dogs Out and the pair even went on to shoot their own film in 2013 who was voiced by none other than BGT judge David Walliams.
But in 2017, the brunette beauty shared the devastating news that her furry friend had passed away much to the heartbreak of their loyal legion of fans.
Her other talented pooch Sully – who grew up with Pudsey – took over his role although the dog trainer confessed he would “never become Pudsey.”
In 2017, Ashleigh entered Sully into a Crufts agility event under a false name and stormed to success after they won gold, which he won again in 2018 and 2019.
At the time, she said after the first win that she knew Pudsey was cheering them both on from doggy heaven.
Britiain's Got Talent returns to ITV this April
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